$12.3m for district's schools

Principals welcome funding boost

Principals welcome funding boost

East Coast schools will get $12.3 million under the new government infrastructure package, the largest sum given to any one general electorate.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the $400 million boost for schools at the Labour Party annual conference in Whanganui on Sunday.

Last night the government released a breakdown of how much each school will receive in what is the biggest capital injection for school maintenance funding in at least 25 years.

East Coast-based Labour list MP Kiri Allan said she was very pleased as many of the region’s schools were smaller and geographically dispersed, and had struggled to get capital investment for structural upgrades.

Nearly every state school will receive a capital injection valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements,

Gisborne Boys’ and Gisborne Girls’ high schools, along with Lytton High School and Gisborne Intermediate, will receive the maximum amount of $400,000 each under the new package.

Gisborne Boys’ High principal Andrew Turner said that while the school was grateful for the extra money, it was only a very small portion of what was needed.

He said the school had been working with the Ministry of Education for the past 12 months on large-scale modernisation plans.

'Wait and see' for finer details

“My understanding is that we have two years to spend this on upgrading/modernising our school environment.

“Our plan is to prioritise this funding to benefit the entire school and keep pursuing our larger redevelopment plan.”

Ilminster Intermediate School principal Peter Ferris said that while every school would be excited to receive the extra money, it was “interesting” the way the Government could find the money leading up to an election year.

Ilminster will receive $286,209 in funding next year.

“We will need to wait and see how much the Ministry of Education will attempt to totally control the expenditure,” he said.

“Ilminster is in an excellent position regarding property.

“We have worked very hard for years to ensure we are totally up to speed. The extra money will absolutely be the icing on the cake if the board of trustees is allowed to determine what it is spent on.”

Mr Ferris said it would be a case of waiting for the detail, and the timeline.

Schools were yesterday still waiting to hear more about the criteria for the spending.

“At this stage we haven’t been given the finer details but it is a very much needed cash injection that will benefit our schools as well as the community,” said Te Wharau School principal Steve Berezowski.

“Our school is set to receive around $340,000.

“As I am not sure what we are going to be allowed to spend this money on I am holding back from making any plans on how to spend it.”

For older schools like Gisborne Boys’ High, the money is needed to bring facilities up to a good standard, said Mr Turner.

“Our school, like many others, has become tired, with some of our spaces over 70 years old and requiring a significant revamp,” he said.

“The property funding we receive every five years has largely been spent on maintaining and repairing buildings.” This work had included electrical and gas reticulation, roofing, toilet upgrades and asbestos removal.

“Sadly these have very little to do with improving teaching and learning,” he said.

“Outside of this, the school has focused on specialist spaces like our tech block, library and whakairo (carving) space.

“Other mainstream subjects like maths, science, English and social studies have been neglected as the purse won’t stretch that far.”

Announcing the $400m package, Ms Ardern said nearly every school and community in New Zealand would benefit from “this windfall investment”.

“I’m proud that students and teachers will be the first to benefit from our infrastructure upgrade,” she said.

The money will be spread between more than 2000 schools, with each receiving between $50,000 and $400,000. School property projects the investment can be spent on include:

  • Classroom upgrades, including making classrooms more flexible and modern
  • Replacing roofing and guttering
  • Upgrading stormwater drainage systems
  • Installing energy-efficient heating and lighting
  • Resurfacing outdoor courts and paved areas.
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East Coast schools will get $12.3 million under the new government infrastructure package, the largest sum given to any one general electorate.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the $400 million boost for schools at the Labour Party annual conference in Whanganui on Sunday.

Last night the government released a breakdown of how much each school will receive in what is the biggest capital injection for school maintenance funding in at least 25 years.

East Coast-based Labour list MP Kiri Allan said she was very pleased as many of the region’s schools were smaller and geographically dispersed, and had struggled to get capital investment for structural upgrades.

Nearly every state school will receive a capital injection valued at $693 per student to bring forward urgent school property improvements,

Gisborne Boys’ and Gisborne Girls’ high schools, along with Lytton High School and Gisborne Intermediate, will receive the maximum amount of $400,000 each under the new package.

Gisborne Boys’ High principal Andrew Turner said that while the school was grateful for the extra money, it was only a very small portion of what was needed.

He said the school had been working with the Ministry of Education for the past 12 months on large-scale modernisation plans.

'Wait and see' for finer details

“My understanding is that we have two years to spend this on upgrading/modernising our school environment.

“Our plan is to prioritise this funding to benefit the entire school and keep pursuing our larger redevelopment plan.”

Ilminster Intermediate School principal Peter Ferris said that while every school would be excited to receive the extra money, it was “interesting” the way the Government could find the money leading up to an election year.

Ilminster will receive $286,209 in funding next year.

“We will need to wait and see how much the Ministry of Education will attempt to totally control the expenditure,” he said.

“Ilminster is in an excellent position regarding property.

“We have worked very hard for years to ensure we are totally up to speed. The extra money will absolutely be the icing on the cake if the board of trustees is allowed to determine what it is spent on.”

Mr Ferris said it would be a case of waiting for the detail, and the timeline.

Schools were yesterday still waiting to hear more about the criteria for the spending.

“At this stage we haven’t been given the finer details but it is a very much needed cash injection that will benefit our schools as well as the community,” said Te Wharau School principal Steve Berezowski.

“Our school is set to receive around $340,000.

“As I am not sure what we are going to be allowed to spend this money on I am holding back from making any plans on how to spend it.”

For older schools like Gisborne Boys’ High, the money is needed to bring facilities up to a good standard, said Mr Turner.

“Our school, like many others, has become tired, with some of our spaces over 70 years old and requiring a significant revamp,” he said.

“The property funding we receive every five years has largely been spent on maintaining and repairing buildings.” This work had included electrical and gas reticulation, roofing, toilet upgrades and asbestos removal.

“Sadly these have very little to do with improving teaching and learning,” he said.

“Outside of this, the school has focused on specialist spaces like our tech block, library and whakairo (carving) space.

“Other mainstream subjects like maths, science, English and social studies have been neglected as the purse won’t stretch that far.”

Announcing the $400m package, Ms Ardern said nearly every school and community in New Zealand would benefit from “this windfall investment”.

“I’m proud that students and teachers will be the first to benefit from our infrastructure upgrade,” she said.

The money will be spread between more than 2000 schools, with each receiving between $50,000 and $400,000. School property projects the investment can be spent on include:

  • Classroom upgrades, including making classrooms more flexible and modern
  • Replacing roofing and guttering
  • Upgrading stormwater drainage systems
  • Installing energy-efficient heating and lighting
  • Resurfacing outdoor courts and paved areas.
  • <
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G R Webb - 3 days ago
Given that borrowed money is being used to fund the package, the taxpayer can expect to see repayment cost 2 or 3 times the original amount.